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Date: April 26th 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

Box A19,
Nairobi, Kenya,
April 26.

Dear Mother and Dad,

Again I write although it just seems to me that you never get these letters. I suppose they must get home sometime but it is so disheartening to get letters from you and to hear that you have had nothing for such a long time. Still it is the only link we have so one goes off regularly each week and I can only hope that you get some of them at any rate. – This above address will be the one to use for awhile. I shall probably send it in a wire but it does not matter as it is in the same country. – We are just settling down to the rainy season now and of course it is like nothing we get at home. It just [teems?] down for about two hours at a time, three times a day and when it rains it really rains. I never before saw showers like some of these. The period we are having now are what are called the long rains and will last until about the end of May. In October we get about two weeks of it called the short rains. The rest of the year there is generally no rain at all. As a matter of fact it is quite pleasant these days. We are at 5000 feet and it gets quite cold (for a change) in the evenings. We wear our blue suits and sometimes even our light coats. – Actually this is quite a pleasant station to be at. I have a nice little cabin to myself – a bed, chest of drawers, table, two chairs and washstand. It is the first time in the navy that I have had a room to myself and it is nice for a change. It is also good to be out of tents for a while. The food too is quite good although there is a shortage of any kind of meat but pork. There is also, funnily enough, a grave shortage of potatoes. In fact we have not had any for two weeks now. One substitute is boiled rice, you can imagine how tasty that is. But we get lots of other vegetables so I don’t mind for a bit. The part of the meal I like best is the celery and cream cheese of which there seems to be lots. – My new job is going O.K. I guess I can tell you that I am second in command of the bunch and enjoying it. I was really tickled to get the appointment. It was all because of my promotion to Lieutenant (that is also why I got the single room) so you can see that promotion has its advantages. – I am writing to Mrs. Boomer thanking her for her parcel but it will have to go sea mail as I have only a limited number of these. Will you thank her and tell her that it was in quite good shape considering the long trip. Tell her that the Christmas cake was lovely and in fact was gobbled by a few of us in about five minutes. None of the other parcels that you have mentioned have arrived at all. I still hope to get them. I forgot actually that I got two parcels of cigarettes, one from Phyllis and one from Doug Ritchie. – Your birthday will be over Dad by the time you get this. I hope you had a good one. I hope too that you are not wearing yourself out in the store due to lack of help. But as you so often say you don’t care much as long as this thing gets over soon. I am glad to hear about Irene and Vincent and their baby Give them and Mrs. Edmonson my regards. Also the Helmans, [Dewdneys?], Gordon Allens, Dramonds and anyone else you think would like to have them. (The Horswills.) I got a Christmas card from Lois and she asked me how I liked her new name. You might tell Mrs. Boomer that next she writes Lois to tell her that I like it very much and hope to meet her husband some time. By the way I got one letter from you yesterday Mother written May 12th. It would surprise you the number of places it had been. – I am getting close to the end. God bless you both and keep you. You are always in my thoughts. Give Phyllis, Ed and Jane my love when you write to them.

Very much love,

P.S. Very sorry to hear Pauline is not very well.


[Editor’s note: The envelope’s postmark and censor stamp dates have been used for dating the letter’s year.]

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-04-26 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC